Clinical Data Scientist, focus areas: FAIR data and ontologies



Are you up to the challenge to help us reducing the impact of cancer? Do you want to work with experts on AI and machine learning solutions that matter? Are you able to apply innovative data science techniques to generate new insights from the Netherlands Cancer Registry (NCR), with data from every cancer patient in the Netherlands since 1989, and other related databases, such as PROFILES with data on patient reported outcomes? Are you an enthusiastic, creative and result-driven team player who can strengthen our innovation team? The Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organization is recruiting a:

Clinical Data Scientist, focus areas: FAIR data and ontologies
36 hours/week
Eindhoven, the Netherlands


The job

  • work in a multidisciplinary team with other data scientists, information architects, clinical informaticians, software engineers, epidemiologists
  • build, disseminate in our organization, and maintain a deep understanding standards and technologies to make our data FAIR
  • apply clinical and patient terminologies and classification systems (e.g. SNOMED-CT, ICD-O-3, thesaurus Zorg&Welzijn), relevant common data models (e.g. OMOP), and semantic web technologies (e.g. RDF/OWL and SPARQL).
  • identify the relevant and innovative application areas for IKNL and develop a roadmap for application to oncological and palliative care
  • apply the relevant terminologies and ontologies to the NCR, PROFILES and palliative care databases to improve the quality and consistency of annotated datasets and the semantic interoperability of IKNL data and knowledge services, visualization and decision support applications
  • contribute to our open source distributed learning infrastructure by building a FAIR data node for the NCR, PROFILES and palliative care data
  • communicate results and contribute to establish a world-class innovation team on data science for oncological and palliative care
  • plan, manage and execute projects with in- and external team members
  • help to build and maintain a network, both within the Netherlands and internationally with external stakeholders (e.g. Nictiz, Health-RI, OHDSI, PZNL)

Vacancy information

We ask

  • an academic degree (M.Sc. or equivalent) in data/computer science, artificial intelligence or related discipline
  • relevant working experience (e.g. as a data scientist, ontologist, computational linguist) is a plus
  • experience with data science in healthcare, especially oncology or palliative care, is a plus
  • experience with either Python, R, and/or SQL/SPARQL and building prototypes is a must
  • good knowledge of data science techniques and know how to apply them on real world data sets
  • a fast learning and strong conceptual and creative thinker with the ability to translate complex concepts into practical applications
  • an enthusiastic, goal-oriented team player with a genuine passion to improve the quality of healthcare
  • excellent communication skills: able to have in-depth discussions with healthcare, IT professionals and scientists
  • you are willing to take ownership and are able to convince others. Comfortable with the uncertainties that relate to first-of-a-kind innovation projects. Enjoying freedom in planning and shaping your own work
  • for this particular work excellent understanding of the Dutch language is a must
  • able to motivate people to help you reach your targets
  • willingness to travel occasionally


We offer

  • an inspiring, friendly work environment with a lot of freedom and development opportunities
  • the opportunity to work with an internationally unique data set with records of millions of cancer patients across the Netherlands
  • a challenging and meaningful job within an organization strongly investing in clinical informatics and data science
  • an opportunity to contribute to the improvement of the quality of oncological and palliative care
  • a position for 1 year, with the possibility to extend
  • terms of employment in accordance to the Collective Agreement for hospitals (CAO Ziekenhuizen).
  • Work-permit assistance (if applicable)


IKNL Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organization and the Netherlands Cancer Registry

IKNL is the quality institute for oncological and palliative research and practice in the Netherlands. IKNL collaborates with healthcare professionals and patients on the continuous improvement of oncological and palliative care. IKNL’s core business is the Netherlands Cancer Registry, a “patient-centered population-based registry”, containing key information for all patients with cancer in the Netherlands. Besides the NCR IKNL maintains cohort data with patient reported outcomes (PROFILES) and on palliative care. Our main activities are the registration and analysis of data and creating value by distributing insights from this data to care professionals and patients.

Insights from the NCR currently already are the basis for close to 200 publications per year in peer reviewed journals and have a proven impact on the quality of care. For example, changes in the Dutch healthcare system based on insights from the NCR resulted in decreased postoperative hospital mortality rates, being most outspoken for patients with pancreatic cancer: from 24 to 4%. The NCR is also used as a primary source for evaluating effectiveness of treatment. Prediction models based on NCR-data help individual patients and care professionals in shared decisions, e.g. when considering breast conserving surgery. IKNL participates in PZNL (Palliatieve zorg Nederland) and in IKNL provides insights from the NCR that are consulted 80.000 times/month by patients or their loved ones.


The innovation team

The innovation team consists of experts in the fields of clinical data science and clinical informatics. It acts as an incubator for maturing new ways to collect, analyze and generate new insights from distributed, semi-structured data, aimed at application in daily (clinical) practice. In close collaboration with care professionals, patients and scientists, we research applications of prediction and decision support algorithms, anomaly detection, distributed machine learning and semantic web technology. We develop FAIR data and knowledge services and a decision support platform (Oncoguide) to share these insights at the right moment to the right stakeholder at the point of care. The team collaborates closely with stakeholders internally and externally, such as hospitals, universities and relevant (start-up) companies in the field of health informatics and data science.


Your Application

We kindly receive your resume and application letter before Monday September 23 via the form underneath.

More information about IKNL can be found at

The job interviews will be held on Wednesday October 3rd and Monday October 7th at our office in Eindhoven.

For more information about the vacancy, you can contact Gijs Geleijnse, senior clinical data scientist, via

We are looking forward to receive your application!

Acquisition in response to this vacancy will not be appreciated.

About IKNL

Integral Cancer Center the Netherlands (IKNL) monitors the prevention and treatment of cancer in the Netherlands and focuses on continuous improvement of cancer and palliative care. The Dutch Cancer Registry (NKR) is the pivot. IKNL registers data from all cancer patients in the Netherlands, analyzes them and conducts research with them. It shares the results with medical professionals, healthcare institutions, regional networks and policy makers. This provides insights with which cancer interventions can be used more effectively. In addition, IKNL promotes cooperation between organizations and professionals working in cancer and palliative care and develops decision support for the best care for every patient on the basis of guidelines.

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